How to Create a Live Webcam on a Website

by Ed Oswald

In some applications, adding a live streaming Webcam to your Website will enhance its usability for the user. For example, if knowing what is happening in real time may be important to your users, then a webcam is the perfect solution.

Obtain a Webcam that is compatible with your computer setup and the software that you will be using. Position the Webcam in the desired position and test to ensure that the picture will be clear and the location has adequate light for it to operate properly.

Install the software on the PC that will be used to run the Webcam. Follow any instructions to alter the settings to your specific needs. If the software includes the capabilities to move the Webcam as well, ensure it operates as anticipated.

Install any software that may be required on the Web server end. If this is a static live Webcam, no software is likely required; the application will upload the image at a regular interval. If it is a streaming live webcam, it is likely some type of application written in Java or a similar language will need to be installed.

Design the Webpage where the cam image will reside. Most likely the Webcam streaming software will include templates or instructions on how to code the page properly to ensure correct operation. Follow these instructions closely; mistakes here could prevent the Webcam from working properly.

Upload the page to the server.

With the above steps complete, turn on the Webcam software and perform a test run. Ensure that the images are being either uploaded or streamed properly to the Webpage. The easiest way to test this is to visit the Webpage and test it out on your own. It may be a good idea to allow others to test out the page on a variety of operating systems and computer configurations to spot any potential problems.

Tip

  • check When selecting a Webcam, quality is important. Cheaper Webcams will give a less clear picture and, in low-light situations, may work poorly. Also ensure that any technology used for the streaming is as non-proprietary as possible; this will ensure that most of your users will be able to use the feature.

Warning

  • close Do not place the Webcam in a sensitive or private area. Be mindful of the privacy of those who may be captured by the Webcam. Remember that anyone can see what the Webcam sees. Thus, if there's something you don't want public, don't put the Webcam there.

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About the Author

Ed Oswald is a freelance writer whose work appears on several technology sites as well as on Demand Studios. He has been writing since 2004 and graduated with a degree in Journalism from Temple University.